Sunday, August 20, 2017

Byron Buxton Inside the Park Home Run

Check this out.  Even with not totally hitting 3rd base at the best stride, he makes incredibly short work of the trip around the bases:



Was fortunate to see this live Friday night.  When the ball hit off the wall, you knew something special was going to happen, and when he rounded second at the speed he did, you knew home plate was in play.

There may have been faster men in MLB, but if there are/were, I couldn't name you one.

Hats off to Buxton.  He struggled mightily until this year, and the kid is finally starting to live up to his billing as a total 5 tool player.  If his development continues, he'll be fun to watch for years.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Saturday Song Share: Zac Brown Band - Enter Sandman

Up here in DL at our recent We Fest they did this exact same riff, leading into the Metallica classic:



As I volunteered to work our shirt booth for work, I happened to be there.  I also happened to be wearing my Metallica t shirt:

Image may contain: 1 person, closeup

At least one guy was there ready to rock.

Aside: I once used the intro to this song as my "walk up" music to a speech I gave.  It literally is one of my top ten career highlights, and is the closest thing to rocking out on a stage that I'll ever do.

Friday, August 18, 2017

New Ankle Brace from Amazon

As I'm rehabbing my ankle, my doc suggested some ankle suppression socks.  Nothing fancy, just something to help the circulation in my injured area.

I headed off to Amazon and found the socks shown below.  They had high ratings and a decent price, so why not.  This is what I got:




  • They're "Nkle Support," which is just an "A" away from what I was looking to get
  • They're also "Best Quality," which just rocks
  • And look, they come with Boots Circulation as well.  Bonus!
  • Hold it just a freaking minute.  "Reduce Swilling?"  I didn't sign up for that.  Not at all.
I wonder what Amazon's return policy is?

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Where the Historical Purge Leads

It is astonishing to me to see the desire by so many on the left to entirely purge any touchstone that exists to our country's history before the outlawing of slavery.  We've just seen the very start of elimination of flags, statues, names, and other items that fall on the wrong side of 2017 sensitivities.  In fact, I believe that this process will continue until all offending images, symbols, and names have been purged from our national consciousness.

Once we're there, will we be in alignment?  Will our world finally be made alright?  Of course not.  In fact, race relations will likely be far degraded from the sorry state in which we currently find ourselves.  

But all offense has been removed.  What now will balance the field and reconcile us for our sinful past?

One concept: reparations.  

Indeed, the purge of our history won't be enough.  We must atone for what our forefathers did, and the only way to do that is to pay up.  

We're quickly moving toward a world made up of those that pay (or force others to pay) or those that are deemed racists.  Two camps - two camps only.  Kind of like now, but with a lot more at stake.

Buckle up.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Checking Out in Seattle

I made my way down to my major-franchise hotel lobby in Seattle last week, looking to check out ahead of my 6:00 AM Uber ride to the airport.  I was a little bleary from a night of not sleeping as I never sleep well ahead of a travel day.  Thankfully, the hotel had a fresh hot pot of Starbucks Pike Place, and the joe was a positive jolt to the system.

I made my way to the front desk to hand over my room key and looking up at me from behind the desk, I saw this:



While this is obviously Phil Hartman as his great character Susan, I'm not that far off.  Horrible wig, worn askew.  Makeup everywhere.  Stereotype fake female voice.  It was as much of jolt as the coffee that was flowing through my system.

I didn't expect it and was taken aback.  This person's look was not one of trying to look like a gender in which they biologically were not.  This person's look was "I'm clearly going to look like a man horribly made up to be a woman..."

Furthermore, implicit in that look was "...and you're going to have to deal with it."

I've seen a lot of cross gender folks, and don't care about it or them.  In fact, such confusion on something as innate as one's gender has to be a horrible and conflicted way to live, and I've often felt a lot of compassion for their plight.  It has to be incredibly hard - way harder than I could hope to understand.  

Want to know how hard?  The suicide attempt rate for transgender folks is 41%.  That's not a typo and I'm not missing a decimal.  

I don't care what you do or who you love.  As long as nobody gets hurt, it's none of my damn business.  However, when interacting with the hospitality industry, I expect to be treated as a guest (especially when I'm paying over $400 a night for a hotel room).  I don't expect to have such an "in your face" confrontation of acceptance.  

Want to be a woman?  Great.  Feeling like a man today?  Bully.  Want to "shock" me by barely doing either?  Fine as well.

Just not on my dime, OK?

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Hobby Horsing - The New "Sport"

There isn't a lot one can say about this, other than I feel like we're somehow doomed...

Monday, August 14, 2017

Insanity in Charlottesville

The has already been a lot written on this topic and I regret that I have not much more to add.  However, the one point that seems that can't be stressed enough is how much all sides need to tone it down.  The discourse, which starts on social media and spreads into spitting on each other in the street, has become far too heated and far too personal.  The demonization of anyone that doesn't think exactly like we do has simply gone too far.

It would serve us all well if everybody just chilled.  Unfortunately, that's not going to happen.  Social and traditional media is just way more interesting when it has some emotion attached to it, hence the worst of our communications will continue to rise to the top and will continue to fan the flames of hatred.

We're quickly losing the ability to accept those with whom we disagree.  It's being replaced with hate, and that hate is increasingly turning violent.  

I fear we've not seen anything yet...

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Happy Anniversary, Mrs. YDP

23 years today.  Hard to believe that it has been that long.  

Sometimes the trail has been easy.  Sometimes it goes uphill a long way.  But through it all you're always there by my side.



Happy anniversary.  I love you to the mountains and back.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Saturday Song Share: Semisonic - Singing in Your Sleep

Local Minnesota band done good.

Singing up to a Capulet
on a balcony in your mind


Friday, August 11, 2017

The Puzzle of Business Travel

This week I'm in Seattle on my first business trip with my new company.  I don't expect to be doing much travel in my new capacity, so this is a rare opportunity for me to get some time out on the road.

Business travel can be hard.  It's tough to keep up at work, sleep comes at a premium, hassles are everywhere, and the diet usually suffers.  That being said, I do very much enjoy it, and I think it is because, to me, it is a big puzzle to solve.

What time to be where.  The best route to take.  Figuring out the best way to get a potential upgrade.  Finding the gate.  All of it is kind of like a big sudoku puzzle to solve.  Even when things go totally sideways with things like cancelled flights and overbooked hotels, there is still a component of those situations that energizes me due to my need to figure out the best way out of my mess.

While I don't think I'd like to do it every week like some, it is nice to be back on the road, albeit for a short and infrequent trip.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Bloomington Mosque Bombing and the Precedent for an Inside Job

I take a daily news feed from Jihad Watch as they are about the only news source out there that consistently reports what Islam is bringing into the world.  They are clear eyed, founded in Islamic writings, teachings, and text, and most importantly, unafraid.

If you've been reading this blog, you know that I'm skeptical about the Bloomington, MN mosque bombing being perpetrated by an Islamophobe.  It just doesn't add up to me. 

The only thing that does add up is that it was an inside job.

Fortunately, Jihad Watch feels the same way, and has some incredible data to back up their thoughts:


Muslima arrested for setting Iowa mosque on fire June 25, 2017 

That's 10 different situations in less than four years.  You can get the links here.

Something tells me we might have a new one to add to this list before too long...

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

RIP Glen Campbell

These posts are getting a little too common...

Guitar virtuoso and velvet voiced Glen Campbell finally succumbed to the effects of Alzheimer's and passed away yesterday.  A man of massive talents, he brought country into the mainstream via his popular TV show and via crossover hits like Wichita Lineman and Rhinestone Cowboy

Unfortunately, he also had massive problems, and his cocaine abuse and alcoholism kept him from even greater heights.  Yet, despite those setbacks, his talent showed through.

Want proof?  Even mired in the depth of his Alzheimer's he managed to release the following:



He was an American icon, a master musician, and a rare combination of talent, charm and looks.

You might not miss us, Glen, but we'll miss you.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

RIP Don Baylor

MLB lost a great one yesterday as Don Baylor passed away.  Baylor was a flat out stud, and while he compiled many prestigious awards (AL MVP, Manager of the Year, Roberto Clemente Award, etc.) to me, he'll always be known for his ability to get hit by the pitch.  Indeed, he ranks 4th all time in that unique stat.

Note that he accomplished this in an era before all of the "armour" worn by today's players.  When Baylor got hit, it hit meat and bone.  But when it happened, you'd barely know by looking at Baylor.  He never grimaced or rubbed the offending wound.  He'd just throw his bat down and run to first.  As I said, a flat stud.

He also was a hired gun that the Twins used to bring home their first-ever World Series championship.  Here's a bit of a taste of that:



Rest in peace.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Bloomington MN Mosque Bombing Smells Like BS

Image result for bloomington mn mosque
Last week, in Bloomington, Minnesota, a mosque was "attacked" with some kind of bomb at 5:00 AM.  A witness claims to have seen a "pickup truck" drive away from the site at a rapid rate of speed.  Nobody was hurt, but immediately calls went up decrying the racism rampant in our society, and the abject hate that exists in the Twin Cities for those of the Muslim faith.

I may be wrong, but this whole story seems just that to me - a story.  Indeed, a bomb went off within a mosque.  However, there are a couple of things that don't add up:

  • If you hate Islam so much that you're willing to bomb a local mosque, why use such a weak bomb?  Likewise, if your hate has driven you to bomb, why set it off when there would be no casualties?  
  • If the answers to the questions above were "they just wanted to send a message," wouldn't an easier way to do that (and one that can avoid federal prison) be to just spray paint the building with your grievances?
  • Realy hate Muslims?  Why not just go picking fights with them?  None of that has been reported at all.
I don't believe this was a hate crime.  In fact, I think this was an act of distraction, designed to take the pressure of the situation of a Muslim cop killing a white woman in cold blood, by someone sympathetic to the Muslim cause in Minneapolis.

If something looks and smells like this much bullshit, it usually is.  

I'm happy to apologize if I'm wrong, but I think in the days and weeks ahead, we're going to find out there are some really funny things going on with this story.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Aflac Hates Men

Don't believe me?  Check it out:



Wasn't that funny?  Stupid, white dad nearly killed the vacation.  Men are so selfish!  And dumb!

Now imagine this same ad with mom hurt.  Or the kid hurt.  Or with Muslim dad.  Or homosexual dad.  Or black dad.

Can't imagine it?  Me either.  That's because nobody is more universally hated than a white man.  This ad is another in a long line of ads that help prove it.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Friday, August 4, 2017

Procter and Gamble "The Talk" Video

One of the biggest names in consumer products has waded into the national dialog on race.  One could expect how this turns out:



The stereotypes here are nearly laughable - the white kids chasing down the black kid in a clearly Southern locale (and called him the "N" word to boot).  The fact that there is so much abject racism in our society that in order to compete with whites that blacks need "to work twice as hard and be twice as smart."  That when cops stop blacks in America, the cops kill them.  Happens all the time.

All we missed were images of the Klan, because the Klan is everywhere.  Swing and a miss, P&G...

How does this advance our society?  What is the goal of this message?  

Most importantly, how in the hell is this going to sell more Tide?

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Ben Shapiro - My New Man Crush

I've bumped into Ben Shapiro a bunch in the past, and have consistently found him to be learned and measured in how he covers political hot buttons.  His rhetorical skills are among the best I've ever seen, and I find his engagements with folks on the other side of the political spectrum as riveting.

I've recently started listening to his daily podcasts and have been enjoying them greatly.  Here's a little sample of his engagements and speaking style:


Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Yale and Haerter - A Story of What Marines Do

From a speech from Lt. General John Kelly:

Two years ago when I was the Commander of all U.S. and Iraqi forces, in fact, the 22nd of April 2008, two Marine infantry battalions, 1/9 “The Walking Dead,” and 2/8 were switching out in Ramadi. One battalion in the closing days of their deployment going home very soon, the other just starting its seven-month combat tour.

Two Marines, Corporal Jonathan Yale and Lance Corporal Jordan Haerter, 22 and 20 years old respectively, one from each battalion, were assuming the watch together at the entrance gate of an outpost that contained a makeshift barracks housing 50 Marines.

The same broken down ramshackle building was also home to 100 Iraqi police, also my men and our allies in the fight against the terrorists in Ramadi, a city until recently the most dangerous city on earth and owned by Al Qaeda. Yale was a dirt poor mixed-race kid from Virginia with a wife and daughter, and a mother and sister who lived with him and he supported as well. He did this on a yearly salary of less than $23,000. Haerter, on the other hand, was a middle class white kid from Long Island.

They were from two completely different worlds. Had they not joined the Marines they would never have met each other, or understood that multiple America’s exist simultaneously depending on one’s race, education level, economic status, and where you might have been born. But they were Marines, combat Marines, forged in the same crucible of Marine training, and because of this bond they were brothers as close, or closer, than if they were born of the same woman.

The mission orders they received from the sergeant squad leader I am sure went something like: “Okay you two clowns, stand this post and let no unauthorized personnel or vehicles pass.” “You clear?” I am also sure Yale and Haerter then rolled their eyes and said in unison something like: “Yes Sergeant,” with just enough attitude that made the point without saying the words, “No kidding sweetheart, we know what we’re doing.” They then relieved two other Marines on watch and took up their post at the entry control point of Joint Security Station Nasser, in the Sophia section of Ramadi, al Anbar, Iraq.

A few minutes later a large blue truck turned down the alley way—perhaps 60-70 yards in length—and sped its way through the serpentine of concrete jersey walls. The truck stopped just short of where the two were posted and detonated, killing them both catastrophically. Twenty-four brick masonry houses were damaged or destroyed. A mosque 100 yards away collapsed. The truck’s engine came to rest two hundred yards away knocking most of a house down before it stopped.

Our explosive experts reckoned the blast was made of 2,000 pounds of explosives. Two died, and because these two young infantrymen didn’t have it in their DNA to run from danger, they saved 150 of their Iraqi and American brothers-in-arms.

When I read the situation report about the incident a few hours after it happened I called the regimental commander for details as something about this struck me as different. Marines dying or being seriously wounded is commonplace in combat. We expect Marines regardless of rank or MOS to stand their ground and do their duty, and even die in the process, if that is what the mission takes. But this just seemed different.

The regimental commander had just returned from the site and he agreed, but reported that there were no American witnesses to the event—just Iraqi police. I figured if there was any chance of finding out what actually happened and then to decorate the two Marines to acknowledge their bravery, I’d have to do it as a combat award that requires two eye-witnesses and we figured the bureaucrats back in Washington would never buy Iraqi statements. If it had any chance at all, it had to come under the signature of a general officer.

I traveled to Ramadi the next day and spoke individually to a half-dozen Iraqi police all of whom told the same story. The blue truck turned down into the alley and immediately sped up as it made its way through the serpentine. They all said, “We knew immediately what was going on as soon as the two Marines began firing.” The Iraqi police then related that some of them also fired, and then to a man, ran for safety just prior to the explosion.

All survived. Many were injured … some seriously. One of the Iraqis elaborated and with tears welling up said, “They’d run like any normal man would to save his life.”

What he didn’t know until then, he said, and what he learned that very instant, was that Marines are not normal. Choking past the emotion he said, “Sir, in the name of God no sane man would have stood there and done what they did.”

“No sane man.”

“They saved us all.”

What we didn’t know at the time, and only learned a couple of days later after I wrote a summary and submitted both Yale and Haerter for posthumous Navy Crosses, was that one of our security cameras, damaged initially in the blast, recorded some of the suicide attack. It happened exactly as the Iraqis had described it. It took exactly six seconds from when the truck entered the alley until it detonated.

You can watch the last six seconds of their young lives. Putting myself in their heads I supposed it took about a second for the two Marines to separately come to the same conclusion about what was going on once the truck came into their view at the far end of the alley. Exactly no time to talk it over, or call the sergeant to ask what they should do. Only enough time to take half an instant and think about what the sergeant told them to do only a few minutes before: “ … let no unauthorized personnel or vehicles pass.”

The two Marines had about five seconds left to live. It took maybe another two seconds for them to present their weapons, take aim, and open up. By this time the truck was half-way through the barriers and gaining speed the whole time. Here, the recording shows a number of Iraqi police, some of whom had fired their AKs, now scattering like the normal and rational men they were—some running right past the Marines. They had three seconds left to live.

For about two seconds more, the recording shows the Marines’ weapons firing non-stop…the truck’s windshield exploding into shards of glass as their rounds take it apart and tore in to the body of the son-of-a-bitch who is trying to get past them to kill their brothers—American and Iraqi—bedded down in the barracks totally unaware of the fact that their lives at that moment depended entirely on two Marines standing their ground. If they had been aware, they would have know they were safe … because two Marines stood between them and a crazed suicide bomber.

The recording shows the truck careening to a stop immediately in front of the two Marines. In all of the instantaneous violence Yale and Haerter never hesitated. By all reports and by the recording, they never stepped back. They never even started to step aside. They never even shifted their weight. With their feet spread shoulder width apart, they leaned into the danger, firing as fast as they could work their weapons. They had only one second left to live.

The truck explodes. The camera goes blank. Two young men go to their God. 

Six seconds.


Not enough time to think about their families, their country, their flag, or about their lives or their deaths, but more than enough time for two very brave young men to do their duty … into eternity. That is the kind of people who are on watch all over the world tonight—for you.



Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Twins Officially Selling, Officially Done

The 2017 Minnesota Twins' season is over.

Entertaining as hell for much of this season, especially the start where the Twins held first place for a good, long time, it's now over.  Jaime Garcia, a move designed to take them to the playoffs, was cast off after only one start.  Now All-Star closer Brandon Kintzler has been shipped off to Washington.

Both were at the end of their contracts and were free agents next year.  However, both were valuable players on a team suddenly bereft of them.  Hence, the white flag gets hoisted and we look to 2018.

33 days until college football.

38 days until the NFL.

66 days until the NHL.

But who's counting?

Monday, July 31, 2017

Fat Boy on a Bike

On June 14 of this year is when I had my most recent run.  Coming out of that run, my Achilles ankle was killing me, and I have literally been waiting for it to get better ever since.  It is still sore, and I've now engaged the help of the medical community.  X rays and MRIs show small tears in the tendon and inflammation, despite not stressing it over the past six weeks.  I now start physical therapy this week in an attempt to make things better.

In the meantime, I've been living like a king.  Beer has been flowing in great quantities, and way too many meals of dubious caloric benefit have been consumed.   As a result, in the period in which I've not been running (or doing anything else for that matter) I've packed on about 10 pounds.

Seriously.

Running has been a huge benefit for me.  In fact, in many ways it appears to be the only thing that has been able to keep my weight in check.  With it now off the table for the medium term (and perhaps forever?), I need to get my life in order.

I have been biking some, specifically to and from work, but my work schedule has been crazy, and with Mrs. YDP with a broken leg, I need to be able to get home quickly over lunch to take care of her.  Hence, I'm going to need to go back to getting up early and getting some kind of workout in before work.

I've been successful the past two days, and have got in an hour bike ride both days.  It's great in that it is less stressful on my joints.  Unfortunately, I don't get the same kind of workout biking like I do running.  Part of that is on me - it is just easier to take things lighter when biking.  When taking things light in running, one ends up walking.

I know biking works.  My brother is in incredible shape due to biking, and my cousin has found great success in it as well.  I need to figure it out.

Stay tuned and I'll keep you updated on progress. 

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Vacation Recap


We just got complete with the annual family trip up to Leech Lake.  It was successful all the way around.  Here's just a small taste of what transpired:

Here are my two beautiful nieces: 

It wouldn't be a vacation without the family volleyball game, and here a break is called due to a yellow dog and a tennis racquet on the court:

Just one of many fabulous sunsets we were treated to:

With her broken leg, vacation was hardest on Mrs. YDP:

My niece and one of Leech Lake's finest:

My Mom with her last day clutch pike:

My nephew with a record nasty fish:


We close with a video compiled by my niece:


Wednesday, July 19, 2017

The Bums in Congress

Despite a massive voter mandate for it, the repeal and replacement of Obamacare is dead.  I won't go into the technical nuances of why as they're unimportant.  The real issue is the abject failure of politicians to do anything that might put them at jeopardy.

When self-preservation is more important than fixing a major crisis in our nation and economy, then something is wrong.  Hence, the usual reaction applies - term limits, throw the bums out next election, etc.

But none of that will happen.  There are too many pigs that need to be fed in order for that to happen.  Hence, will continue to elect the same old bums, because they're OUR bums, and they feed their pigs well.

That is the state of politics in 2017. And that is why our nation is in the place that it is in.  

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

When a Killing by a Cop Doesn't Matter

In international news, an Australian woman in Minneapolis was killed by a cop on Saturday under very suspicious circumstances.  She was the one that called 911, was in her pajamas, and came out to meet the police.  When she did, one of the officers grabbed for his gun and discharged it.  The round went through the door and killed the woman.

Ordinarily, the media would be all over this, as would Black Lives Matter, as would Governor Dayton.  Unfortunately, there is one little problem - the officer in this case is Somali.  

Ordinarily, when a cop appears to kill a citizen in cold blood, there is a shut down of I-94, cries of abject racism, and accusations of outright murder.  But when a Muslim does it, and better yet kills a white person, then there just has to be some kind of circumstance which would easily explain the event.

No marches.  No demands for firing.  

If we were playing jump to conclusions like is normally done, perhaps we'd assume that the officer came upon not only a kafir, but a scantily dressed one at that.  Her lack of modesty is punishable by death in a number of Muslim lands, and the good officer took it upon himself to mete out some Sharia justice and rid the world of the infidel offender.  Right?

How does that feel? 

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Saturday Song Share: Steely Dan - Don't Take Me Alive

Pretty sure I saw them on this tour (early 00's, I believe), but Michael McDonald was not on keyboards.

This is when Fagen still had his magic.

Great stuff:


Tuesday, July 11, 2017

What Do We Do with North Korea?

Last week, unhinged and insane nuclear power North Korea successfully launched an intercontinental ballistic missile that all unanimously agree is capable of hitting Alaska, and might be capable of hitting Hawaii.  While we don't know if they've figured out delivering a nuclear payload in such a flight, it doesn't seem too much of a task.  Likewise, given their missile program progression, it is only a matter of time before they develop a missile capable of hitting the continental US.

For two decades now or so, North Korea has blustered that it will attack the United States with a nuclear attack.  Originally considered by other administrations as bluster aimed at controlling the populace, over the past number of years, it is clear that their actions belie anything but bluster.  They want a nuke that they can launch against us.

Once they have it, would they really use it?  They have told us over and over and over again that they will.  Leadership has also told their people they will.  Once they have it, it sure will appear weak if Kim Jong-un doesn't use it.

The can has been kicked down the road, and we've now reached that end.  So what do we do?

We certainly do not let San Francisco reach 100 million degrees Fahrenheit.  We also can't attack directly, lest the entire North Korean nuclear arsenal be unleashed on the Korean peninsula.  The only answer is to take out Kim Jong-un, and to do it both publically and quickly.  It comes with a massive amount of risk, but by comparison to the other options, appears to have the least amount.

It is a lousy position to be in.  Unfortunately, presidents Clinton, Bush, and Obama left this a job to be done by some other president.  It looks like Trump is going to need to be that president. 

Monday, July 10, 2017

Monty Python - Spam

And now for something completely different...

In honor of Spam's 80th birthday last week here is on of my favorite sketches from the boys:

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Church in Crisis. Again.

I'd be negligent if I didn't wade into the latest crisis in the Catholic Church.  

It seems the Vatican police department broke up a drug-fueled gay orgy last week.  It just so happened to occur at the home of the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which is in charge of tackling clerical sexual abuse.  He is the secretary to Cardinal Francesco Coccopalmerio - a key aide to the 80-year-old Pope Francis.

I love my church deeply, and things like this cut so deep.  The ledger of the good the Catholic Church does versus its ills is not even a match, yet the evil that acts within the confines of the Church gets all the press.

That's understandable.  Everyone likes a hypocrite story.  

Why does this continue to happen?  Unfortunately, the Chruch has humans, and humans sin.  Some of their sins are unspeakable - just like others in every other walk of life.  Likewise, for those truly touched by evil, what better place to hide and/or disrupt than the Church?

I can't excuse this, and if laws were broken, all must be punished to the full extent of the law.  In the meantime, I continue to pray that in the never-ended fight of walking with Christ versus sinning, that goodness will prevail.

I just wish it didn't have to apply to my Church.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Saturday Song Share: Trevor Hall - The Lime Tree

It took a while for you to find me
I was hiding in the lime tree


Thursday, July 6, 2017

Caribou Coffee Doesn't Get It

Last Friday I had called an 8:00 meeting.  The culture of my new company is that things start to get rolling about 9:00, so meetings earlier than that, or later than 4:00, are routinely frowned upon.  

Compare that to the old place, where 7:00AM and 5:00PM meeting starts were commonplace.  Yikes.

To compensate the attendees of my unwelcomed early start, I promised coffee as part of the meeting, and that morning I drove over to our local Caribou Coffee to load up on a box for the attendees.  I got there about 7:30, and was the only customer in the place.  Walking up to the counter, I inquired,  "Do you have one of those coffee box thingies?"  "Yes," came the answer from behind the counter, "but we need 24 hours notice, and we don't do them on weekends."

OK.

All I was asking for was them to fill up a box with coffee.  It would have taken 45 seconds.  Likewise, since I was the only customer in the place, I wouldn't exactly be putting other customers out by my order.  Finally, it was hardly the weekend, unless those start on Friday mornings now (in which case I've been really wasting a lot of my weekends).

I flashed her the "I can't believe you're going to make me do this" face, but she just returned a scowl.  Rules are rules, damn it.

"OK," I said, "please give me eight medium black coffees," which was the fluid equivalent of one of those boxes.  Hence, I was still ordering all of that coffee.  Except now it would take longer to pull together in that there were 8 cups to fill, close, and put into carriers.  And it would be done without 24 hours notice, and during a "weekend" for Pete's sake.

Retail 101 - If your customer wants to buy something, sell it to them.  If rules prevent you from doing so, your company is stupid and you should work somewhere where using your brain is appreciated.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Thoughts on Unpacking

Over the long weekend of the 4th I did a lot of unpacking.  The majority of my focus was spent on the garage; placing stuff in shelving as we attempt to move a gigantic house's worth of stuff into a much smaller abode.  It is clear that we still have way too many things, and as I wade through it all, I'm so regretful.  I wish I had even a fraction of the original money that those things cost.  Fool.

Part of my time was spent going through files, and I was reminded of the prestigious roles I've held the privilege that came with them.  Equity agreements, insurance policies, Gold status with Delta - it was all so wonderful.  Then I ran into my performance review from my old boss, and I saw how much I was vilified, if not abjectly hated.  

I finally shredded that review.  Not sure why I held onto it that long.

The weekend way made all the more frustrating as I've been attempting necessary repairs on the new place.  Half of what I've done has been successful, but half again has been an unmitigated failure.  My failure was punctuated last night with the total collapse of a shelf that I had built, and the resulting crash sounded like the entire city's fireworks show had gone off in our garage.

Not a fun long weekend.  It is getting way too long to get into the house and enjoy things.  I still haven't fished since mid-May, I've golfed only one, I have been on the lake a grand total of one time despite paying for lake access and having a dock slip, and in nearly every room of our new home is a stack of things needing to be addressed.

This really kind of sucks. 

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

The Declaration of Independence

Take a minute and read it.  Then think about the men that signed their name to this, and the risks associated with that act:

In Congress, July 4, 1776.

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America, When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.--Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.

He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.

He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:

For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:

For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:

For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences

For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:

For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:

For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.

He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

Georgia

Button Gwinnett

Lyman Hall

George Walton


North Carolina

William Hooper

Joseph Hewes

John Penn


South Carolina

Edward Rutledge

Thomas Heyward, Jr.

Thomas Lynch, Jr.

Arthur Middleton


Massachusetts

John Hancock


Maryland

Samuel Chase

William Paca

Thomas Stone

Charles Carroll of Carrollton


Virginia

George Wythe

Richard Henry Lee

Thomas Jefferson

Benjamin Harrison

Thomas Nelson, Jr.

Francis Lightfoot Lee

Carter Braxton


Pennsylvania

Robert Morris

Benjamin Rush

Benjamin Franklin

John Morton

George Clymer

James Smith

George Taylor

James Wilson

George Ross


Delaware

Caesar Rodney

George Read

Thomas McKean



New York

William Floyd

Philip Livingston

Francis Lewis

Lewis Morris



New Jersey

Richard Stockton

John Witherspoon

Francis Hopkinson

John Hart

Abraham Clark



New Hampshire

Josiah Bartlett

William Whipple



Massachusetts

Samuel Adams

John Adams

Robert Treat Paine

Elbridge Gerry



Rhode Island

Stephen Hopkins

William Ellery



Connecticut

Roger Sherman

Samuel Huntington

William Williams

Oliver Wolcott



New Hampshire

Matthew Thornton

Happy 4th of July, everyone.

Monday, July 3, 2017

"You'll Be Back" from Hamilton

An incredibly fast version (the singer did an outstanding job keeping up with an insanely quick piano) of one of the catchiest songs from the musical.

Also, the reason why we have a 4th of July.

Enjoy:


Sunday, July 2, 2017

Alice Cooper on Being a Christian


"Drinking beer is easy. Trashing your hotel room is easy. But being a Christian, that's a tough call. That's rebellion." -- Alice Cooper

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Saturday Song Share: Portugal. The Man - Feel it Still

I could seriously listen to this song over and over and over again.  

Weird video, but the song is as catchy as hell.

Ooh woo, I'm a rebel just for kicks, now
Let me kick it like it's 1986, now

Might be over now, but I feel it still



Thursday, June 29, 2017

Yellow Dog Does Emergency Room. Again.

Two nights ago I was enjoying a snack of raisins from a large bag while standing in the kitchen.  While taking some out of the bag, a clump of about a dozen of them fell to the floor.  As the Yellow Dog was standing next to me, I just pointed them out to her with my foot, and down the hatch they went.

Bad move.  Grapes and raisins are toxic to dogs.

After my snack, I sat down on the couch and just didn't feel right about the dog eating the raisins.  She only eats dog food (other than what she steals), so for her to eat anything that I didn't pour into her bowl was rare.  Just to make sure, I Googled "dogs and raisins."

Yep.  Bad, bad news.  Thank God for Google.

I immediately went for the hydrogen peroxide, loaded up a turkey baster's worth, and as Mrs. YDP held the dog I squirted a load of the chemical down the dog's throat.  The Yellow Dog is a bit of a sissy, and in highly stressful episodes she'll pass out.  That indeed happened immediately after she threw up, which caused my wife to freak out a little.  Unfortunately, in digging through the dog puke, we came up with nary a raisin.

Mrs. YDP then immediately got on the phone with the emergency vet (it was 8:00 PM), and they said to bring the dog in ASAP.  I loaded up the dog and drove the hour to the emergency room in Fargo.

I got there and the waiting room was filled with about a dozen people.  "Oh, great," I thought.  But then I immediately noticed a sign which said that animals would be seen in order of their emergency, which made me wonder where we'd fall.  I filled out my paperwork and took a seat.  Two minutes later a nurse comes up to me and says, "Are you the raisin dog?"  I answered in the affirmative.  "Come with me," she said and led us past all those other people and animals.

The doctors there got her to puke up the offending fruit and immediately started her on drugs to stave off the toxins.  They also started her on IV fluids to flush her system and would need to do so for 24 straight hours.  

I was informed I'd need to prepay for everything, and that I'd need to pick the dog up at 7:00 AM to be taken to our vet as the emergency room closed when regular vets were open.  The bill?  $850.

When the nurse told me, I was standing next to a guy that was obviously in construction.  He immediately looked at me to see what'd I'd do.  I forked over my American Express and he turned away.  We are very fortunate to have the means to spend that kind of money on such an episode.

And the money just started there.  We had two appointments with our regular vet, IV bags I got to take with me, then a lot of Surly beer which I bought to forget the whole ordeal.  Total cost was well over $1,000.  All because I was too lazy to bend over and pick up some raisins.

This is now the fourth time we've rushed the dog to the emergency room in her 12 years, and is, by far, the most expensive.  Again, at least we're fortunate enough that we haven't had to make any really hard decisions.  

In the meantime, when I got back from the emergency vet that night about midnight, the first thing I did was throw the bag of raisins into the garbage.

I also threw out the cereal I had which had raisins in it.

With my dog, one can't be too careful.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

The Drunkest City? Green Bay


This is a touch old, but still relevant.  According to a recent study, Green Bay was found to be the United States' most drunken city, based on self-reported incidents of binge drinking.

Wisconsin also took in honors as the most drunken state in the union, with the following cities ranking as the drunkest in the country:

#1 Green Bay 
#2 Eau Claire 
#3 Appleton 
#4 Madison 
#6 Oshkosh 
#9 Wausau 
#10 La Crosse 
#12 Fond du Lac 
#15 Sheboygan 
#20 Milwaukee

Titletown, indeed.
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